Items range from military equipment, including Jeeps, anti-aircraft guns, a horse-drawn wagon used by the Kentucky National Guard in the Mexican Border Campaign and a restored WWII German BMW motorcycle with sidecar, to agricultural implements such as a hemp separator, horse-drawn tobacco setter and more. Other items on display are intended to offer a glimpse of professional and everyday life in the commonwealth’s earlier days. Rounding out the stories are photographs relating to the artifacts, taken from the KHS digital collections.
“KHS was formed in 1836 with the objective of preserving those special items that help tell Kentucky’s unique story,” said KHS executive director Kent Whitworth, “and we’ve been diligent about that mission in the 180 years since, which means we have lots of artifacts. It’s just not possible to have every item on display all the time, so we rotate artifacts in our exhibit space – bringing them ‘out of the attic,’ so to speak – to share them with the public and help Kentuckians connect with and understand their history.”
Julie Kemper, senior curator in charge of the exhibit, added, “To make more of our collections available to the public, we have been doing a wall-to-wall inventory of museum storage. After each item has been accounted for it is photographed and put in our online database. During this process we have rediscovered a lot of great artifacts, many of which have never been on exhibit. We’re happy to be able to share these treasures with the public through exhibits such as Jeeps to Looms.”
Entry to “From Jeeps to Looms: Artifacts in Kentucky’s Attic” is included in KHS’s general admission (for current pricing visit history.ky.gov/hours-and-admission/), which also gives access to the permanent exhibit, “A Kentucky Journey,” featuring 3,000 artifacts that tell the story of the commonwealth’s 12,000 year history; the Hall of Governors; Kentucky’s premier genealogical research library; the Old State Capitol; and the Kentucky Military History Museum.